Teens : How to live your best year ever!
Being a teenager is a fun, but challenging time, isn’t it? You manage a lot. Through a few easy steps, you will be able to stay on top of your schoolwork, room, friends, social media, sports and ALL of your activities!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all you have on your plate, don’t worry- you’re not alone! Being organized and managing time better are skills that can be learned at any age.
If your room looks like a tornado hit it, don’t be hard on yourself. Rather than focus on what it looks like, think of how it makes you feel. Are you embarrassed to invite friends over? Are you frustrated because you can’t find what you need? The motivation to change must come from you.
Here are some simple steps to get started. Turn on your favorite music, ask a family member or a friend to come and help. Or play a much loved film or series in the background. Make it fun and the time will fly!
1.Declutter: A little bit at a time (you can set your timer for 15 minutes), or all in one go, go through each of your things and ask yourself: Do I love it? Do I need it? If you answer no to both questions, the item is clutter and needs to go! Consider donating items that can still be used to a younger sibling, a friend, or a local non-profit.
2.Set up zones: Make a list of what you need to do in your room and create zones to meet those needs, for example:
- SLEEP (Rest Zone- bed, nightstand, clock)
- HOMEWORK (Study Zone – desk and supplies, chair, lamp, book shelf and books)
- GET READY FOR SCHOOL (Dressing Zone- dresser, closet, mirror, vanity)
- EXPRESS YOURSELF /DISPLAY ITEMS (“Me” Zone- posters, photos, trophies)
3.Sort and put away “keep”items: The items you decide to keep should fit into one of your designated zones. Keep like things together in containers so they are easy to find. For items you don’t need to access often, like out of season clothes or accessories, put them in the least accessible places, under your bed or at the very top of your closet for example. So your day to day things are in the easy to get spots!
- Determine priorities: What are your priorities- schoolwork, social life, sports, family time? Make a list of your top 5 priorities. Then make sure you’re spending your time according to what’s on your list. If one of your priorities is to improve your maths grade, but you are spending little or no time studying, you’ll need to put more time into your schedule to do so.
- Use a planner: To learn to better manage your time, start to think of it as something you can actually see. Set up (on paper or digitally) your typical week including all the activities you have each day in blocks of time, for example: school 8am-4pm, judo practice 7pm-8pm. This will help you visualize when you have free time to slide in other activities you need or want to do.
- Have a to do list: Having the ability to see what you need to do takes away the pressure of having to remember everything. List your tasks for the day (homework, chores, etc.). Next to each item in the list, estimate how much time it will take to complete. Find slots of time to schedule your to do items in your planner. You can make it fun by color-coding, green for school items and blue for activities and sports.
Try one or all of these tips. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will be motivated to do more. I promise you’ll be glad you did it!